Hip Boutique Hotels From Coast to Coast

Ace Hotel Lobby. Photo: Jeremy Pelley.

A hotel isn’t just a place to crash; it’s a sensory experience. Whether your stay is a one-night stand or a week-long residency, top-tier amenities and engaging design add to the overall indulgence of being away from home. These seven boutique hotels provide attentive service, luxurious surroundings, and a happening vibe in some of the country’s biggest cities.

The Best Boutique Hotels in the United States

Ace Hotel – Portland

"Drippy Kitty" Wall Art by Brent Wick. Photo: Jeremy Pelley.

“Drippy Kitty” Wall Art by Brent Wick. Photo: Jeremy Pelley.

The Ace Hotel in Portland looks like it was made for Instagram with its army green sofas, restored wood paneling, and the giant “Hotel” sign in the lounge. The check-in desk is nestled among floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the aroma of Stumptown Coffee Roasters wafts through the lobby. Vintage decor, salvaged timber desks, and wall art by Kenzo Minami and Brent Wick adorn guest rooms while suites are furnished with turntables. Though there’s little need to leave the Ace, its location puts you within walking distance of all the prime downtown destinations. Free wi-fi, pet-friendly rooms, and European peasant-themed eats round out the perks of this charmingly historic hotel originally built in 1912. 

Palladian – Seattle

Photo: Cris Molina.

Photo: Cris Molina.

Seattle’s weather may get a bad rap, but this 97-room hotel is anything but dreary with its regal, elegant ambiance. Guest rooms at the Palladian pair old-world touches like claw foot bathtubs with modern art and new age amenities like yoga mats and meditation television. Located on the cusp of Belltown, the Palladian is only a short stroll away from must-see landmarks like The Space Needle and the Pike Place Market. Or borrow one of the hotel’s custom-made PUBLIC bikes and venture further out. After working up an appetite, visit Shaker + Spear for seasonal, sustainable seafood and crafty cocktails.

The Line – Los Angeles

The Line Hotel. Photo: Adrian Gaut.

Photo: Adrian Gaut.

This Koreatown destination has all the coolness you’d expect from a Los Angeles hotel in a 24/7 neighborhood. Situated in a restored mid-century building, guest rooms are decorated industrial-chic style with Mexican-influenced upholstery, bohemian furniture, and concrete-themed wallpaper. Of course there’s an exercise room and outdoor pool, but what makes The Line “totally, like” L.A. are the citrus trees and views of the Hollywood Hills. After the sun sets, get your groove on courtesy of resident and guest DJs or hit up a karaoke suite in Break Room 86. Satisfy your appetites at partner and restaurateur Roy Choi’s in-hotel eateries like Korean hot pot and BBQ joint Pot and its likewise named lobby bar; vegetarian-friendly and greenhouse-themed Commissary; or Taiwanese/Salvadorian/Mexican-inspired bakery and coffee shop Café. This is one place the party never stops.

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel – Chicago

Photo: Radisson Blu.

One of the bigger boutiques hotels with 334 rooms and the first of the Blu brand, this eco-friendly, Windy City oasis boasts an outdoor running track, lap pool, and 80,000 square feet of garden space. For those exercising indoors, sweat it out in the Spinning facility, on the basketball court, or in the massive fitness center. Guest rooms featuring sleek design, contemporary furnishings, and majestic views of the Chicago lakefront and Millennium Park make this downtown hotel feel like a splurge without the astronomical rates attached. Wine and dine at Filini, a classic Italian restaurant with over 100 wines to choose from, or enjoy an afternoon tea service with small bites in the lobby on the weekends. Friendly, dedicated staff ensure you’ll leave your stay at the Aqua refreshed.

Hotel Le Marais – New Orleans

Photo: New Orleans Hotel Collection.

Photo: New Orleans Hotel Collection.

These quaint French Quarter digs seamlessly combine southern charm with modern pops of color, from purple, red, and lime green lobby armchairs to striped carpet in its 66 guest rooms. In-hotel bar and lounge Vive! carries on the color scheme with its LED lighting. Partake in the complimentary continental breakfast, chill in the courtyard, or take a dip in the outdoor pool. Situated half a block from Bourbon Street, you’ll still be close to all the action NOLA is known for but can take comfort knowing there’s a quiet reprieve available at your room in Hotel Le Marais.

W South Beach – Miami Beach

Photo: W South Beach on Instagram.

Photo: W South Beach on Instagram.

When it comes to the South Beach location of this boutique hotel chain, the W just might stand for “wow” factor. You can skimp by basic lodgings (which are still lavish compared to most chain hotels) but oceanfront rooms and VIP suites will tempt those with a bigger travel budget. The staff is beyond accommodating; in fact, they’ve trademarked their brand of hospitality Whatever/Whenever® service. Interior design and color schemes announce themselves less than the usually brash W, likely because the breathtakingly blue water is meant to be the focal point. When you tire of swimming, play tennis or basketball on the rooftop courts, sunbathe on the W’s beach or pool deck, or get a workout in at the gym. Refuel at the hotel’s soul food-inspired The Dutch or at celebrity magnet Mr. Chow.

 The Ludlow Hotel – New York City

Photo: Annie Schlechter.

Dark leather, warm wood, a roaring fireplace, and sophistication that doesn’t take itself too seriously await you at The Ludlow between East Houston and Stanton Streets. Guest rooms feel more like upscale apartments with oversized windows, hardwood floors, exposed beam ceilings, brass bath fixtures, rainshower heads, and mini-bars stocked with locally-sourced snacks. In temperate weather, retreat to the outdoor sun deck or trellis-covered garden. The in-house restaurant, Dirty French, is a visually stunning bistro with sexy eats, ideal for a date-night dinner (pro tip: get the duck à l’orange). If you must sleep in the city that never does, do it here.